We at Lady Collective love celebrating female firsts: the first women in space, the first women to enter the military, women winning the Nobel Prize and countless other awards. While it’s frustrating that, in 2015, women are still cracking into formerly male-dominated spaces, every tiny victory serves as an example of possibilities for the next generation.Image courtesy of Patch.com
Today we celebrate Arizona Cardinals coach Jen Welter, the first woman to coach a National Football League team. Welter played rugby at Boston College,competed in women’s football leagues for 14 years, and became the first woman to play a non-kicking position to play in the Indoor Football League. Somehow during that time, she also earned a master’s in sports psychology and a doctorate in psychology. Coach Welter may be 5’2”, but she’s got lofty dreams and high expectations for her players.
Image courtesy of AZ Central
But let’s be clear that the appointment comes with a caveat: on the Cardinals’ website, Welter’s official position is listed as “training camp/preseason intern coaching linebackers.” Depending on how her players fare, there’s no guarantee that she’ll hit the field come September. But while women coaches in male-dominated leagues are rare, there’s more support for future hires. Last month, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon became the first woman to preside over an NBA bench. At any rate, we’ll be paying attention to Welter’s progress come kickoff time.